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2020 Learning for Life Teaching Award Winner Announced

Mrs. Mayer with Students

Central Bank and the Eastern Kentucky University Center for Economic Education are pleased to announce that the winner of the sixth annual Learning for Life Teaching Award is Mrs. Jana Mayer, social studies and extended learning teacher at Model Laboratory School. Central Bank and the EKU Center for Economic Education established this award to stimulate and recognize development and advancement in teaching decision making and problem solving with applications to personal finance, economics, and entrepreneurship by Madison County elementary teachers. Mrs. Mayer developed a Lifelong Leaders program to foster leadership within her students by providing opportunities to utilize problem-solving skills in stressful situations and expand their interpersonal skills in ways that would prepare them for fulfilling futures. She focused on teaching professional skills to all Model Laboratory students in grades 5-8 during the fall semester and demonstrated where these skills could be implemented to enhance the traditional curriculum. Each week focused on different professional and personal skills required for future leaders which included the art of conversation (choosing appropriate topics and introduction), the importance of listening and responding, and making connections with people via networking opportunities. Mrs. Mayer also partnered with Eastern Kentucky University to engage students from the School of Business to act as judges for a Gauntlet Competition (based on a similar event held at the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta) where the students in grades 5-8 moved through a fast-paced course of one-minute challenges showcasing their skills in conversation, quick-thinking, confidence, current events knowledge, and more. The challenges included “Tell Me about You” (interview with a reporter), “Cooking Show” (students improvised and presented the creation of a meal using ingredients provided), “Interview with an American Hero” (conversation with former President Abraham Lincoln) and “Presidential Podium” (students took on the role of U.S. President and answered current event questions posed by the judge who acted as a reporter). Through the Lifelong Leaders program, students were able to practice for the “real world” and build skills that will aid them as they become leaders and entrepreneurs. The participants also honed their skills by presenting an impressive business plan about the program to local business leaders at a Chamber of Commerce meeting. The EKU students were able to test their own professionalism as they helped to prepare younger students for encounters they will face as they get older. All in all, the Lifelong Leaders program, led by Mrs. Jana Mayer, will benefit students in a wide age range as they move forward in a world of constant economic change. Central Bank and the EKU Center for Economic Education are proud to honor this educator with recognition and a monetary award to highlight her commitment to preparing Madison County students for life outside the classroom. For more information about the Central Bank/EKU Learning for Life Teaching Award, contact or visit

Contact Information

Cynthia Harter

Published on June 04, 2020

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